Break the Glass – Anticipate

This is the second in my series entitled Break the Glass. If you missed the first installment, at the end of this post, I will tell you how to locate it.

Last week we talked about the first of four categories of constructive behaviors that this series will cover, namely listening to the needs and pain of your team and customers. This week we will focus on anticipation and I will link anticipation to the second category of constructive behavior, which is offering value, thought leadership, and kindness.

As I mentioned in the last post, listening in the context of COVID-19 involves staying in touch with, calling, and engaging your team members and customers to understand what they are thinking, feeling, and needing at this time.

During one of those calls this week, one of my clients found out that a team member’s husband had been laid off and she was worried they wouldn’t have enough money for groceries. Leaders at that company secured food and had it delivered to her home.

In the context of this week’s topic about anticipation, we break the glass and take action on behalf of customers and team members by not waiting for them to ask to have their needs met.

In these times, our customers and team members are likely experiencing a jumble of emotions and significant levels of distraction (whether that be extra home-schooling duties, or simply trying to find groceries and other items to keep their homes and businesses operational).

Because of the disruption in their lives, it is important that we rise above our own distraction to focus on the unstated needs of customers and team members alike. For example, a client of mine, Hayden Homes, is sending out letters to those homeowners whose service warranty period is coming to an end to assure them they won’t have to worry about the timeline to get any issues resolved.

Similarly, a company I worked within the past, USAA, sparked a trend among other insurance carriers when it announced on March 31st that it will provide a 20% credit to the military families it serves on two months of premiums (approximately $520 million of premium relief). USAA could have waited for those insured to call to see if the company would reduce their automobile insurance costs since they are homebound and not driving. However, leaders at USAA proactively made the offer.

Now is the time to Break the Glass and anticipate. Ask yourself the following:

  • What might my team members need at this point in the battle with COVID-19?
  • What might my customers need from me in the near future (even though they are yet to ask)?

Once you’ve thought up some possible solutions, evaluate your list of options for feasibility and likely impact, prioritize your actions, test your solutions on a few customers or team members, and then scale the solutions that you can execute effectively.

That’s it for our second installment of Break the Glass. You’ll find each post in this series on my blog.

If you would like to talk about how you can effectively anticipate the needs of your team members and customers, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I hope to see you back here next week for more conversation about how to stay constructively active and in relationship with those you serve.

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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